One person was confirmed dead from an oil- and natural gas-well explosion Monday morning, but authorities will need additional time to provide positive identification of the victim and an exact cause of the explosion that sent flames and an oil holding tank high into the sky and created a blanket of intense heat that could be felt across the street.
The explosion, believed to have occurred about 9:30 a.m., was in Lawrence Township at a site about two miles south of Bolivar in the vicinity of Bolivar Group Home at 10071 State Route 212, near the Wilkshire Hills subdivision.
Dr. James Hubert, Tuscarawas County coroner, said late Monday that the victimís name wonít be released until identity is confirmed through the use of dental records. Hubert said once the victimís dental records are acquired and examined by a specialist, he should be able to confirm the victimís identity by the end of the week.
The victim, believed to be a 19-year-old male, was painting at the well site, according to Bolivar Fire Capt. Marty Huth, who served as incident commander at the scene Monday.